The Transport and Logistics Society students of the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) recently took a trip to Durban, South Africa to understand the market of logistics on a global scale.  Durban was chosen as the destination for this trip because the port of Durban is the busiest port in Africa.

 

durban trip group 2Dr Fanny Saruchera (far left), the NUST Transport and Logistics Society Committee members (in white) and the society members in front of the NUST bus parked at the Port of Durban, South Africa

After 20 hours of driving we finally saw the city lights of Durban with logistics being very visible through the continuous stream of trucks leaving Durban heading to their various destinations. After some much needed rest, we headed off to the Maritime School of Excellence by the Port of Durban.

The knowledgeable staff of Transnet gave us a detailed presentation of what happens in the port and how it is maintained. We were shown their impressive shipping simulators and also educated of the different courses they offer. On the tour boat called “Isiponono, we navigated the entire port and got a fantastic insight into Durban Port. Large shipping vessels docking, offloading, and heading out, every aspect of logistics was on show for us.  Students were exposed to a little bit of what it took to build and run a port as big and as busy as the port of Durban, these were some of the operations we were able to witness.

Isipono

Port of Durban knowledge

The trip to the port of Durban began with the Maritime school of excellence that specializes in teaching programs ranging from machine handling to basic management. The school specializes in multimodal transportation courses and also works with the port of Walvis Bay.

The students also got to see the Maritime museum and got a great history lesson on boats, ships and fishing and how it first started in South Africa.

Our Society members were treated to a luxurious boat cruise which had delicious platters of food set out for us whilst enjoying the stunning views of beautiful Durban. The next stop was the largest marine aquarium in Africa, UShaka Marine World, where the dolphins stole the show. We managed some “fun in the sun” at the nearby Durban South Beach famous for surfing. This is where students had a chance to interact with members of the public to find out more about the language and the culture.

On our long trip back to Windhoek, we were given  a short presentation on how the Namibian Customs office works regarding imports and exports on the Namibian side. This is another vital aspect of logistics and transportation and goods cannot move without clearing customs.

Extra benefits
On the bus ride from place to place our amazing drivers; Mr. Kakei and Mr. Naughton (passionately known as the “anti-virus”) were kind enough to teach the students how to do vehicle inspection and they got to make practical their theoretical knowledge. Logistics is all about knowing how to keep things moving, so this was essential training for us.

Conclusion
We can look back on a successful trip. The Logistics Society hopes to have more of these educational trips to broaden our knowledge in our field of study and to gain unprecedented amount of experience. With the assistance of NUST, NGCL and DAAD we can really improve our logistical knowledge and be ready to be competitive in the market as well-rounded logistics experts. We plan to take more students on such trips and possibly expand our reach to places like Cape Town or Port Elizabeth. We would like to thank the University, our main sponsor Namibian-German Centre for Logistics (NGCL) together with DAAD and Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) as a whole for making this trip possible and allowing us as students to open our eyes to better opportunities out there.

New Era newpaper also published an article about the trip:

New Era_Durban visit_31 May 2017_2